Thread: The Buddha's teachers

  1. #1

    The Buddha's teachers

    I was looking at this information at Buddhanet:

    The Buddha's First Teachers

    At this time in India there were many religious teachers. One of the best and most well known was Alara Kalama. Ascetic Gotama went to study under him. He stayed and was taught many things, including meditation. He worked hard and eventually equalled his teacher in learning. Finally Alara Kalama could not teach Gotama any more and he said, "You are the same as I am now. There is no difference between us. Stay here and take my place and teach my students with me."

    But Gotama was not interested in staying. Despite what he had learnt he could see that he was still subject to old age, sickness, and death and that his quest was not over.

    Thus, Gotama left Alara Kalama and went in search of a new teacher. At last he found another great teacher, Uddaka, who was famous for his cleverness. Again, Gotama learnt very quickly and soon knew as much as his teacher. He found that Uddaka could not teach him how to stop suffering, old age and death either, and he had never heard of anyone who could solve these problems. Once again the Ascetic Gotama was disappointed and left Uddaka, making up his mind to struggle by himself until he found the cause of all the suffering of life.

    Also I looked at sutta MN 26 The Noble Search:

    and the Buddha also mentioned his previous teachers in MN36.

    ... Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had any reasonably reliable historical information about the Buddha's teachers. (not Wikipedia please).

  2. #2
    Forums Member ancientbuddhism's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    ... Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had any reasonably reliable historical information about the Buddha's teachers. (not Wikipedia please).
    I think I saw a profile for Āḷāra Kālāma on FB. Imagine my surprise that even ascetics are into social media.

    Seriously, there is no 'reasonably reliable historical information' but the approximate the EBTs and contributing resources give us.

    There is some mention in The Origin of Buddhist Meditation by Alexander Wynne §2 Āḷāra Kālāma and Uddaka Rāmaputta.

    A good survey of the topic of asceticism of the time is covered in Greater Magadha: Studies in the Culture of Early India, by Johannes Bronkhorst.

    Laumakis mentions these early teachers in An Introduction to Buddhist Philosophy but tells us nothing we didn't know.

    And I wrote a brief overview of the śramaṇa/samaṇa movement of the time here although I apologise for not providing sources there as the purpose was for a casual web-page rather than academic.

  3. #3
    Thanks ancientbuddhism.

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